Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bella Bella Paella

When I was asked if I wanted to participate in a cooking blogging challenge for Villa Plus, I thought why not?  Myself and nine other bloggers have been allocated different Mediterranean countries to develop a recipe based on food from that country. Also it had to have a twist. I was given the gorgeous Spanish island of Majorca for my challenge. 

The recipe that I have devised is based on Spanish paella with an Italian twist. To give a flavour of Italy I have use Italian white wine, Italian sausage, and added basil to the paella. The last Italian touch is a parmesan crisp.

You can cook this is a paella pan, but I used a normal frying pan, as you would normally have one in a Villa on holiday.  It doesn't need any special equipment, so it is easy to cook. You can use tin foil to cover the dish when it is cooking on the stove or even a saucepan lid. I have made this dish for two people, just alter the quantities to suit your family. 

This dish is very adaptable. You can make this dish on a budget, by using less meat or even leaving it out. It is perfect to make using leftover chicken and vegetables that you may have from the night before if you are self catering. If you can't get the Italian ingredients I have given a Spanish alternative. If you can't find paella rice use long grain rice or Arborio rice, but make sure you check on the cooking time and alter it if needed. If you are a big seafood fan you can also add this to the dish, just check the recommended cooking time. 

Roasting the vegetables in advance adds to the flavour but you don't need to do this, you can just the vegetable strips to the pan when you add the rice if you want to cut down on cooking time. 

If money is no object you can be more extravagant and add some beautiful shell on prawns from the Majorcan coast, and choose a more expensive wine to serve it with.  

I hope you like my Bella Bella Paella, I know we enjoyed eating it in our household!

Palma Cathedral, Majorca. Image courtesy of Damian Brandon /


Serves 2

Cost Per person £4.50

2 chicken breasts
1/3 of an Italian Sausage or chorizo
1/2 red onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small courgette or half large
2 large cloves of garlic
olive oil
150g of paella rice or long grain rice
150 ml dry Italian or Spanish white wine
300 ml chicken stock
chopped basil
Grated parmesan
Broccoli florets to serve



Slice the courgette, red onion, and peppers into large strips.
Drizzle olive oil over the mixture, add salt and pepper and cook for 30 mins in a preheated oven at 190 degrees C. 
While the vegetables are cooking, cut up the chicken breasts and Italian sausage or chorizo into large chunks.
Fry in a little olive oil for ten mins. 
Add two chopped cloves of garlic to the meat mixture and cook for another five minutes until the mixtures browns.
Add the rice, wine, basil and stock. 
Give it a stir and add the roasted vegetables on top.
Cover with a lid or tin foil. 
Simmer slowly for 25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked

While this is cooking, grate a small amount of parmesan.
On some non stick baking parchment on a baking tray, put the parmesan into a round and pat down gently.
Cook in the oven at 200 degrees C, until it melts and goes slightly brown - this will take approximately 10 mins. 
Cool then peel off non stick parchment.
Cook the broccoli florets in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Serve up the paella with broccoli, a parmesan crisp, and a glass of cold dry white wine (optional)

Bella Bella Paella served with broccoli and a parmesan crisp 

What do you think of my Italian/Spanish twist? Do you think you would try making this dish? Have you been to Majorca?

* I was reimbursed the cost of the ingredients for this challenge.
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  1. Looks yummy! I love Paella so will definitely be trying this version with a great twist

  2. That looks so bright and appetising! Made me hungry! x

    1. Thanks Lynn. My husband loves mediterranean vegetables and doesn't eat that much meat but he said he enjoyed this (but he could have been saying that! )

  3. Mellisa, this looks delicious, I am an huge fan of Mediterranean food, you dish looks very appealing on the eye. I'm not seafood fan, so this is up-street. I would definitely enjoy with wine too. Fabulous Thank you. Good luck xx

    1. Thank you Lucy. It's simple to make too. Perfect when you are self catering on holiday.

  4. Paella is amazing, and yours looks delicious. How did you get the colour without saffron?

    1. The oil from the sausage gives the colour Lorraine.

  5. Looks Amazing i love Paella, your making me hungry now, i'll give your recipe a go . good luck hun x

    1. It was easy to do and very adaptable Lorna.

  6. What a great twist! Looks delish.

    I've been to Majorca, once - many, many, many years ago now!

    1. Majorca is beautiful, I've been there a few years ago.

  7. I've never cooked Paella, because it looked like it might be difficult, but you've made it seem easier, so I will definitely be able to have a go now! x

    1. It really was easy Lucy, why don't you give it a go?

  8. That looks amazing. I do love paella and really like the idea of the chunky veg in there.

  9. Looks absolutely delicious! Can I come to tea?

  10. Oh that looks very yummy! Love the twist, I might have to try and make this soon.
    I'm going Majorca in July but to Magaluf the party side. I've never been before though and really looking forward to it.
    The Life of Leeshastarr

    1. I have never been to the party side, the island is beautiful though. If you do manage to do a bit of sightseeing it is well worth it :)

  11. oh gosh this looks DELICIOUS!!! do you want to come gto my house one day... make me some?!

    1. LOL! If you pay for my travel and a hotel of course :D

  12. Thank you Louise.

    I am very well and I am glad you managed to moved successfully. It's a stressful business moving house. Maybe your other half will make this gorgeous paella for you and then let you put your feet up ;)

  13. Wow this looks delicious. I have visited Majorca about 10 times and I have never tried paella. I am so boring

    1. It is very simple dish and very delicious

  14. I am hungry to try this just reading the recipe, this is a must,.


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